Sunday, Oct 26th

Last update:05:18:56 PM GMT

Life and Style

Maori Art, Culture and Language

E-mail Print
Koru
This is called the Koru. It is a Maori name given to their unfurling fern which symbolizes new life, new beginning in harmony with nature. It is an integral symbol in Maori carving and tattoos. It is New Zealand's symbol and native plant. It is also the logo for Air New Zealand.
I bought a carved Koru necklace to always remind my wonderful experience in New Zealand.

Other carvings I purchased includes Eternity, Double Eternity and Hei Matau (the fish hook). They say travellers should wear the fish-hook whenever flying overseas. It is said to provide goodluck and safety over water elements. It represents a great respect for the sea. I know I will be wearing my fishhook flying back to the States!
Here's a link to Maori Carvings and their meaning.


Hobbiton

E-mail Print
Hobbiton
On our drive back to Auckland from Rotorua - we stopped into a small town called Matamata, NZ. This little town has renamed themselves as Hobbiton . This was the town where they filmed the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I was told that most of the movie was filmed in the South Island, but it was in Matamata where they filmed the home of Frodo and Sam.


Rotorua - Journey through Hell's Gate

E-mail Print
I can now say - I've been to Hell and back! We spent a full day at Rotorua, NZ . This town is listed as one of the "1000 Places to See Before You Die ". Rotorua is famous for its active geothermal reserves (greater than Yellowstone National Park). The scent of sulfur in the air is quite evident - giving Rotorua's nickname Sulphur City. It is a 3-hour drive south from Auckland. The population is only 65,000 but they say this town is the tourist capital of the North Island.


Takapu Reserve

E-mail Print

About a 1 hour drive northwest of Auckland, we came to see Muriwai Beach by the Tasman Sea. Here, we see a massive nesting colony of Takapu (or Gannets). A solitude rock formation on the water is their home. These birds endure strong winds and rough waves - but fish is plentiful.

Muriwai.com


The City of Sails

E-mail Print
Auckland, NZ - the country's biggest city. Auckland claims to have more boats per capita than any other city in the world. We are staying at a apartment/hotel very close to the Sky Tower. The downtown district is truly a walkable town. The city's location by the sea (Waitemata Harbour) allows for travel to nearby islands. We took a boat and spent a full day hiking around Waikeke Island (aka. Cascading Waters). On another day, we took another boat to visit the town of Devonport - a picturesque town with fabulous real estate that reminded me of Nantucket. Even the downtown district of Davenport shouts vacation homes for the high society rich and famous. We could live here!

Swirling in New Zealand

E-mail Print

Kia Ora! The Swirl is spending 1.5 weeks in the City of Sails - Auckland, NZ. New Zealand has a population of only 4 million - making it one of the world's least crowded countries. Why did we chose to tour NZ? Well - the dollar is not as weak as in Europe, there is no political upheaval and right now, we just didn't want to work too hard trying to acclimate to a new language.
The people of NZ are warm and friendly. They can be referred to as the Kiwis (not the fruit, but a flightless bird with a long beak which is a size of a domestic hen).

Gay Pride Parade in Amsterdam

E-mail Print
Thousands and thousands turn out for gay floating parade along the canals of Amsterdam. Amsterdam is well reknowned for it's sexual appetite and hashish so a big, flashy parade is no surprise. This year it was just over the top much to the joy of local inhabitants and restaurant owners.

big gay parade

Fitness in a Pill?

E-mail Print
Scientists claim they found a drug that would make people fit and trim without as much diet and exercise.

New Gadget May Offer Paralysis Victims the Ability to Walk

E-mail Print
This medical gadget promised to offer those who are currently wheelchair bound the ability to walk again .

Page 6 of 15

Latest Comments

From the Forum

Article Roundup

Obama's Victory Speech

It's official.  Obama has won the Iowa caucus, Edwards came in second with Hillary in third. {youtube}yqoFwZUp5vc{/youtube} Now this is what the ...

Read more

Same-Sex Benefits for Federal Workers

News image

Obama has signed a memorandum declaring that same sex domestic partners of federal civilian employees will now be granted the sa...

Read more

Another Day, More Police Brutality

Another set of cops have been caught on tape beating up an alledged suspect....

Read more

Sheriff busted using inmates for sex

A sheriff out of Oklahoma is in deep shit for using female inmates for a sex slaves . Authorities have charged ...

Read more

Palin's Prayer Woes

I think we are being Punk'd here. This has to be staged. Palin is dissing the McCain Camp aides for ...

Read more

Government Employees Watched Porn As The Economy Tanked

News image

While Rome burned in a bad mortgage fueled fire, employees at the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) watched po...

Read more

Eight Bell City Officials Arrested

News image

Remember the fury sparked in the city of Bell, California (just outside Los Angeles) where city officials were making obscene hi...

Read more

Bob Schieffer and the flag pins

News image

I never usually listen to this guy but he said a very true thing in the following clip. That true patriotism ...

Read more

GOP Star Nikki Haley Denies Affair

News image

Meet Nikki Haley - wife, mother, rising GOP star and gubernatorial candidate for the South Carolina Republican primary for Governor (t...

Read more